Press Release

March 25, 2008
Funding Will Help Highlight Native American History in Accokeek


Senators Barbara Mikulski,
Benjamin L. Cardin and
Congressman Steny H. Hoyer today announced the award of a $20,000 federal grant to Piscataway National Park in Accokeek, MD as part of the National Park Service’s Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Water Trails Network. The funds, awarded by the National Park Service, will be used to produce
a Native American Interpretative Brochure detailing the ancestral Piscataway presence at Accokeek, the effects of the Colonial period and the continuing legacy of indigenous presence.  The brochure will broaden understanding and appreciation of the Piscataway way of life at this important site of Native American history. 


“This funding will help to make the entire Chesapeake Bay experience more accessible and enjoyable for Marylanders and all Americans,”
said Senator Cardin.  “The Bay is one of our nation’s most treasured resources and we have a duty and obligation to help people understand and appreciate its cultural, historic and natural wonders.”


“Piscataway Park is one of the most unique locations within the
Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Water Trails Network, offering both a rich outdoors experience and a glimpse into our past,”
stated Congressman Hoyer. “I am pleased to announce the award of these grant funds, which will build
on the work we have done over the years to preserve the environmental and historical integrity of Piscataway Park and enhance the visitor experience at this national park treasure.”


“The Chesapeake Bay is part of who we are as Marylanders.  It’s part of our heritage and it’s part of our culture,”
said Senator Mikulski, a member of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee which funds this program.  “This project will help record our history, protect the Bay, reflect our values, and renew our sense of pride and wonder.  I will continue to fight to preserve our national treasure and its history for future generations.”


The Accokeek Foundation will oversee the production of the new materials and work with Native American scholars to develop the historical content. Once completed, the project will significantly broaden the scope of the interpretation on Piscataway life at this important site of Native American history.


“The Accokeek Foundation is grateful to Congressman Hoyer and Senators Mikulski and Cardin for their leadership and support of environmental and cultural programs that protect the Chesapeake Bay and its surrounding communities,”
stated Director of the Accokeek Foundation, Wilton Corkern.  “The programs funded by this grant will go a long way toward enhancing the public's knowledge and enjoyment Southern Maryland's history, culture, and natural resources – and especially the contributions of Native Americans.  Piscataway Park derives its name from the Native American people who lived here when Europeans first sailed up the Potomac River.  The Accokeek Foundation is very pleased to have this grant to highlight the history and culture of the Piscataway people. “


Last year, Maryland’s Congressional delegation helped to secure $1.65 million for the Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Water Trails Network grant program. The Network ties together more than 150 museums, state parks, wildlife refuges, Indian reservations, water trails, and other sites in five states and the District of Columbia, to enable visitors to appreciate the far-reaching role the Bay has had in the culture and history of the region.


The National Park Service provides matching grants ($5,000 to $50,000) for projects that advance Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network goals. Past Network grants have funded new maps, improved signs, and expanded trails that have helped enhance the public's ability to learn about and enjoy the Bay's special stories and significance, explore its natural and cultural resources, and become involved in Bay stewardship. Through these projects and other Gateways Network efforts more and more people recognize the Chesapeake as a true national treasure.